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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 29 - Autumn 1976

Peckett 0-4-0ST No. 2104

2104 Steams Again

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J R Fairman - First Outing, 29th August, 1976

Early in 1972 three Peckett 0-4-0ST's were withdrawn from service at the CEGB's Croydon 'B' Power Station and they were offered for disposal in the September of that year. Four years later the first of the trio is in action again. 2104 made its debut on Sunday 29th August with some very impressive shunting work and followed this on the Bank Holiday Monday with passenger duties. And very smart was this product of Bristol in its shining green livery, black lining and polished brass. At a horse show 2104 would have been 'Very Highly Commended' and perhaps this should be the appropriate award to be presented to its owner, Del Etheridge, for his iron horses!

Del's locomotive arrived at Quainton on 12th December 1972 and gave its purchaser some very worrying moments before it was offloaded from the low loader on the following day. Enroute from Croydon the engine had dropped onto the lorry deck from one of the rails and it had assumed an alarming angle as a consequence of this slip. John Mortham's similar saddle tank, 2105, was better behaved when it moved into Quainton on the next day and we had the Peckett Twins at their new home.

2104 is one of a select band of preserved R4 Class 0-4-0ST's but it is truly a Special R4 because it was built to a lower overall height; 9ft 10in instead of the normal 10ft 8½in of a Standard R4, probably to be able to pass a wagon tippler at the Power Station. Several other R4's are preserved in addition to 2104/5. At Quainton we also have Mick Hatton's 2129, built in 1952, while at Lytham Museum there is 2111 of 1949 [Note 2]; on the Dean Forest Preservation Society's site at Parkend there is Uskmouth No. 1, which is 2147 of 1952 [Note 1]; and at the Southern Gas Portsmouth Gasworks, 2100 of 1949 [Note 3] awaits exhibitions at a future Portsmouth Corporation Museum at Eastney.

The R4 Class are quite large four wheeled saddle tanks and they have a tractive effort of 12072 lbs at 85% of the 180 psi working steam pressure. The two outside cylinders have a 12 in bore and the piston stroke is 20 in. Valves are operated through Stephenson link motion with eccentrics between the frames. The coupled wheels are 3ft 0½ in diameter and the engines weigh 23 tons in working order, 19 tons empty. Separately operated steam and hand brakes are fitted and the locomotives have a tank capacity of 690 gallons and space for 7 cwts of coal.

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J M Hutchings - 2104's tank is lifted on

Some particulars of the purchase and transport of the Peckett Twins were given in the March 1973 issue of Quainton News but it was not mentioned that 2104 was built in 1948 although it was not, in fact, delivered to the generating station until April 1950 and it carries the date 1950 on its maker's plate. After an active life of nearly twenty years shunting coal wagons for the British Electricity Authority and its successor, the CEGB, Del had quite a major task of overhaul work to complete before his engine could steam again. The stripping down and cleaning prior to application of red oxide, undercoat and finishing coats of paint was thoroughly carried out. The motion work, cylinders and valves, springs, axle boxes and bearings, cab fittings and boiler mountings were all carefully over hauled and refitted. The boiler was cleaned, inspected and subjected to a hydraulic test. Some tube expansion was necessary before a sound test was obtained but near the end of 1975 the boiler was passed and re-erection started. The lagging and saddle tank was replaced, fittings and piping connected up and the final stages of the overhaul were reached.

The Summer Bank Holiday Steaming of 2104 was a happy conclusion to years of hard work by Del with the willing assistance of many friends in the Loco Department. We trust it will not be too long before 2105 joins her partner in steam and we will be able to see the pair of Special R4's in action. Another attraction for visitors to Quainton! Incidentally Peckett 2103 was never sold and it remains to this day at the power station at Croydon [Note 4]. Perhaps it could be persuaded to join us at Quainton one fine day to reunite the Peckett Triplets.

1. Uskmouth No. 1, No. 2147 is still at the Dean Forest Railway in store awaiting refurbishment
2. Peckett No. 2111 is now at The Midland Railway- Butterley
3. Peckett No. 2100 is now at the Southall Railway Centre
4. Peckett 2103 was eventually preserved, and is now at the Middleton Railway

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1976 and so does not reflect events in the 39+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

2104 Steams Again - Quainton News No. 29 - Autumn 1976

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 11 November 2017